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Old 09-22-2011, 10:34 AM   #1
V8 GTFO Lesbic WGN
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Default Best way to prep wheels prior to having them professionally painted?

I am a DIY and perfectionist and feel I will do a much better job at prepping my wheels than any bodyshop or the like. I will have them professionally painted but the prep would like to do myself.

The wheels are 2004 BBS STi wheels that I bought online with rock chips and blemishes. I will have them painted satin Black (a la Advan RS-D).

Questions about painting:

1) Do I have to have the entire wheel painted or just the visible surface?
2) If just the visible surface, where the parting line should lie between new and old paint.

About Prepping:

1) What is a better removal process, bead blasting or paint stripping or both?
2) What media for bead blasting?
3) Will blasting remove Aluminum material like the tiny casted raised lettering on the wheels: BBS, 17x7.5, 53 offset
4) What paint stripper? Aircraft stripper?

Looking forward for feedback, I want perfect refinished wheels.
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Last edited by V8 GTFO Lesbic WGN; 09-22-2011 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:32 PM   #2
sb04wrx
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In all honestly, if you are paying a company to paint your wheels then let them do their job. I can understand being a perfectionist, because I am one myself, but if anything happens to the wheels during the process, they could potentionally use that against you.

Prepping wheels before paint is part of the painting process, and a very important one. I can just see something going wrong and them blaming the customer (you) because the prep process wasn't done their way.

Unless you have experience doing this, let them handle everything. It's your money, make them earn it. Just some food for thought.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:57 PM   #3
AspenScoob255
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First off, if you don't trust the shop to prep properly then why are you going there in the first place?

The only benefit I see to doing some of their work for them is to reduce labor hour charges. I say let them do their job.

If you do want to do something, remove the old paint and clean them thoroughly. Aircraft stripper works very well for this process followed by a dawn bath.

And yes have the entire wheel painted inside and out. No sense in running the risk of flaking when the tire contacts the wheel and or when they mount your tires.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:44 AM   #4
V8 GTFO Lesbic WGN
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bump, looking for tips on how to remove original factory paint from wheels.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:48 PM   #5
MattTHEpainter
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Get aircraft stripper and apply copious amounts to the wheel. Place in industrial trash bag and seal. Let sit for 30 minutes. Scrape off any loose paint. Repeat until no factory paint remains. If some stubborn paint does not lift, use 400 grit to sand.
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:57 PM   #6
vms150
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I would say to strip them yourself with aircraft remover and a power washer (it's very helpful when using aircraft remover) and then get them POWERCOATED instead of painted because if you're paying professionals to paint them you are better off getting a product that will last longer and stand up to the abuse.... paint is not that product.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:43 PM   #7
V8 GTFO Lesbic WGN
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Not sure if urban legend but powercoating makes aluminum more brittle, no?
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:09 PM   #8
Snowphun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8 GTFO Lesbic WGN View Post
I am a DIY and perfectionist a

1) Do I have to have the entire wheel painted or just the visible surface?
If you are a perfectionist why are you even asking this? Have the inner wheel painted as well.

I've painted a number of sets of wheels and never stripped the old paint. Scuff it up, smooth the edges of any nicks and off you go.
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